Tag Archives: health

Home dental procedures

(Survival Manual/6. Medical/a) Dental)

Any dental emergency, like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment down the road.

1.  Home exam
http://www.homedental.com/selfexam.asp

_A. Mouth Check
For many… pain was the major telltale sign that a dental appointment was needed. Bleeding gums were not a significant warning, because some people just didn’t know if they had cut their gums a little or what. Now, with the help of computers, we will be able to show you some of the warning signs, you, yourself, can see. Education is your best ally so you will easily know what you’re looking for. All you have to do, from time to time, is to take a look at our page and call a dentist when you see you’re having a problem.

Images above, L>R: L) Swollen gums, C) Cavities, R) Plaque and Tartar

If you see or think you see any of these conditions in your mouth or your child’s mouth, you will be smart by quickly making a dental appointment. Of course, prevention is always better than cure. If you know you have a condition that a dentist should treat, the sooner the better is always the best way to go.

_B.  Giving Plaque the Brush-Off
<http://corner-dental.olhblogspot.com/other-dental-news/taking-care-of-your-teeth/&gt;
In order to prevent cavities, you first need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth. The best way to do this is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease. Brushing and flossing are the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Toothpastes contain abrasives, detergents, and foaming agents. Fluoride, the most common active ingredient in toothpaste, is what prevents cavities. So you should always be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. If you have teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure, you may want to try a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

_C.  Cleaning Tartar from your teeth
About 1 person in 10 has a tendency to accumulate tartar quickly. Tartar is plaque in a hardened form that is more damaging and difficult to remove. Using anti-tartar toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as spending extra time brushing the teeth near the salivary glands (the inside of the lower front teeth and the outside of the upper back teeth) may slow the development of new tartar.

  1. Buy an antiseptic oral cleanser to help clean the tartar deposited from your  teeth. Gargle with this liquid every day, which will loosen the tartar from the edges of the gums. People should make it a habit to rinse their mouth with oral cleanser after each meal. This will remove the food particles which get stuck in the mouth after eating food.
  • After rinsing the mouth with an oral cleanser,  floss your teeth.
    It’s important to know the correct manner of flossing the teeth otherwise you can hurt your gums. People should floss their teeth thoroughly upwards and downwards. [I could never get my fingers in my mouth  just the right way to work the string version of dental floss,  so I use the dental floss picks shown at right. This brand has 90 picks per pouch which cost about $3.50 at Wal-Mart.]
  • If you eat lots of spicy foods, you’ll find it easier to remove tartar from your teeth. Spicy foods increase the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is very important to drain out those food particles which get stuck between teeth.
  • Rubbing your teeth with a mixture of salt and baking soda is very effective for removing tartar.
    Mix a small quantity of salt in baking soda and apply with a finger. The best thing about this method is that you can get instant results from it. It is one of the most effective home remedies for teeth tartar removal
    .

2.  Homemade tooth paste recipes
a)  Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt. The result tastes like dirt, but it does a decent job of cleaning your teeth and gums.
Simply moisten the toothbrush, dip it into the mixture and brush as usual.
Recipe from the book, Dirt Cheap Survival retreat by M.D.  Creekmore.

b) Two more recipes for  homemade toothpaste
http://naturallycheerful.blogspot.com/2011/09/homemade-toothpaste.html

Homemade Orange Toothpaste Recipe
1 tablespoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon glycerin or  1- 1/2 tablespoon of peroxide
1 teaspoon orange extract or  ½ teaspoon dried orange*

Homemade Vanilla Toothpaste Recipe
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons water, or peroxide to be added if desired

These store well in empty baby food jars.

*Place some grated orange rind in a blender and grind until it is fine and powdery.
or you could even use mint leaves if you like it minty.  Pretty much any kind of good tasting essential oils can be used as flavoring, just a couple drops though.  Easy does it.

NOTE: This is from the back of the ‘Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste tube’.
“Ingredients:
Active Ingredients: Sodium fluoride (0.24%) for anticavity.
Inactive Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate, water, glycerin, sodium saccharin, PEG 8, flavor, cellulose gum, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate

You see the only things missing from the homemade toothpaste are:
1)  fluoride (which is bad for your bones),
2) lauryl sulfate (Google it. It is found contributing to the cause cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, it is not good for us in any form), and
3) saccharine (which is sugar), rubbing sugar on your teeth?
Go with homemade and avoid all the other garbage. Don’t take your health, including your dental health lightly.
..

3.  Summary of what to do for some common dental problems
<http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/handling-dental-emergencies&gt;
_A. Toothache
First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Tooth pain is one of the most painful types of discomforts known to man. Unlike other types of pain, that can be relieved with a temporary remedy, in most cases, tooth pain is something entirely different as it throbs consistently, is sensitive to hot or cold, or both and because you have to eat so you’re constantly irritating the painful area three times per day.

When you first experience tooth pain, your first instinct might be that you have food in between your teeth. If the pain is affecting your gums more than the tooth, then that is exactly what the pain will feel like. Around the infected area, check for any food that is stuck in small spaces. Do not try to aggravate the area by overly brushing or flossing, but gently use the brush or floss to get the food out.

1.   If you are able to stand warm liquid on the tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to help remove excess food. The wonderful benefit of warm salt water is that it can be done as often as you need to and it helps treat your gums.

2.   There are a number of ways to treat tooth pain that may or may not provide you with temporary relief. The most common ways of treating it is taking an anti-inflammatory drug, such as Advil, which
can be bought at most any store over the counter. This will help the pain and also help to ease the swelling and inflammation in the surrounding area. However, it’s still only a temporary relief.

3.   An ancient home remedy that might be very effective for your mouth pain is to use clove oil. Soak a cotton ball in the clove oil and then apply it directly to the tooth that is giving you trouble.  Clove oil has many soothing benefits, with the addition of infection fighting ingredients that can help relieve the pain and treat the area at the same time. If your tooth has a negative reaction to the clove oil and it causes the area to hurt worse, then rinse immediately with warm salt water. [Clove oil and q-tips should be maintained as part of your emergency medical supply kit. Mr. Larry]

Regardless of what type of temporary treatment you choose, it is still crucial that you visit the dentist as soon as possible. Even if you are able to find a home remedy that relieves the pain, there could still be a serious problem with your tooth that will need to be treated appropriately. Make sure that you inform the dentist of any pain relieving methods that you tried at home.

_B.  Toothache remedies that you can easily find

  1. A clove of garlic is good. Garlic is a natural anti-biotic. It attacks bacteria and has been known in many instances to work on bacterial infections all on its own without the use of prescribed
    antibiotics. Crush the garlic, and place it in the cavity. It will sting for a few seconds going in, but it settles the pain before long. If you want it to work even better, prepare a strong salt solution and swish the area to get rid of any debris that may be lying around, and then place the clove there. The pain will go, and you may not even need to see a dentist
  2. An onion will work in the same way – it  will kill bacteria and leave you free of pain. Treat it the same way you would the garlic – pound and pack the cavity. If you’re not in too much pain to chew, chew it and take around your mouth, letting it linger around where you have the pain.
  3. Wheatgrass is also excellent. If you can chew it, go ahead and chew it. If you can’t, find a way to crush it and pack it around the painful area. It acts as a strong, natural mouthwash, and it draws out bacteria from both the gum surface and the teeth.
  4. Clove oil has strong antiseptic properties. If you can get hold of some, pour a couple of drops directly into the cavity. If you can’t, crush a clove and pack it against the cavity or get the juice in there.
  5. Activated charcoal can be bought in some pharmacies now, and is good for aching cavities. Just crush it into a paste, pack it into gauze and hold it against the painful cavity. It should take away the pain.

The long term solution for cavities though, is to have your dentist have a look and recommend a permanent course of action – remember that sometimes even filling cavities may not be a permanent solution. Taking regular extra-good care of your teeth if you have cavities is one way to make sure that you get toothaches less frequently. Otherwise, keep all the above handy; you never know when you’ll need them.

_C.  Chipped or broken teeth. Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/ chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.

_D.  Knocked-out tooth. Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
__1)  Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth. See your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed.
__2)  Objects caught between teeth. First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. If you can’t get the object out, see your dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.

_E.  Possible Broken Jaw
If you think that your jaw might be broken, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling. You will need to see your dentist immediately or go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

_F.  Lost filling. (See Survival Manual/6. Medical/a) Dental/Temporary Filling & Crown post) As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.

_G.  Lost crown. (See Survival Manual/6. Medical/a) Dental/Temporary Filling & Crown doc) If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at Amazon.com, your local drug store, or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

_H.  Broken braces wires. If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.

_I.  Loose brackets and bands. Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it recemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).

_J.  Abscess . Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.

_K.  Soft-tissue injuries. Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:

  1. Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
  2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

_L.  Bitten Tongue or Lip
If you have  bitten your tongue or lip, gently wipe the area clean with a cloth. Apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling. If the bleeding will not stop, you should go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

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Survival and physical fitness

(Survival Manual/ 6. Medical/ c) General Clinic/ Survival & physical fitness

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”
……………………………
Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

1.  Survival & Physical Fitness
2011, No More Dependence, posted in Health/Hygiene
Pasted from:

Being physically fit is important for numerous reasons. Besides the most valuable benefit of increasing one’s own health (and thereby decreasing the risk for infections, diseases, common illness, etc.), being physically fit increases energy levels, boosts self-confidence, improves mental clarity, and generally improves quality of life.

Striving towards physical fitness may not be as fun as getting new gear or as tangible as buying 100 lbs of beans, but No More Dependence sincerely believes that regular exercise, combined with a sensible diet, is one of the most fundamental and practical survival skills to possess.

Ultimately, when weighing likely risks and potential real world survival scenarios, an individual who is generally regarded as physically fit, will have a greater likelihood of survival than his or her out of shape, or weaker, counterpart.

That being said, we’re not advocating everyone should spend every day in a gym exercising, we’re merely observing that as individuals who strive to be prepared and rely less on others, being in shape is a solid tactical advantage.

[Photo: 1968, teenage boys out for a hike.]

.

[Photo: fast forward to 2012, teenage girls out for a hike.]

2.  First and foremost to being a Prepper is a mental attitude: That of “I am responsible for me”. If you are relying on the government or others to take care of you then you are a dependent of them, not an independent citizen capable of supporting themselves. And that is exactly what a Prepper is or strives to be – an Independent Citizen capable of supporting themselves. Throw out the attitudes and beliefs that if something happens you’ll let others take care of you. In fact, throw out the notion that nothing bad will ever happen to you – chances are extremely high that it will! Whether it’s a personal, family, neighborhood, city, state, national or world event – bad things happen every single day – dodging them all is pretty near impossible.
Becoming a Prepper requires independence and self-reliance in all areas of our lives including finances, utilities, food, clothing, health, devices and furniture, to name a few key areas.

————–  a major health issue ————-

3.  Being lazy can kill you: Physical inactivity responsible for 5 millions deaths every year
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, NYDaily News, by AFP RELAX NEWS
Pasted from: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/lazy-kill-physical-inactivity-responsible-5-millions-deaths-year-article-1.1116883

Having a couch potato lifestyle is a risk factor comparable to smoking or obesity, say experts in the medical journal The Lancet, which described physical inactivity as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two.

Here’s some extra motivation to get off the couch and get in shape: A report in the medical journal The Lancet claims that physical inactivity kills about five million people every year.

“Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people — do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” experts said in a report that described the problem as a “pandemic.”

The picture for adolescents is even more worrying, with four out of five 13- to 15-year-olds not moving enough, it said.

Physical inactivity was described for the study as failing to do:

1) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, or
2) 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or
3) or a combination of the two.

Inactivity increases with age, is higher in women than in men, and more prevalent in high-income countries, the researchers found.

A second study, comparing physical activity levels with population statistics on diseases like diabetes, heart problems and cancer, said lack of exercise claimed more than 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths worldwide in 2008.
It said inactivity was a risk factor comparable to smoking or obesity.

Lack of exercise causes an estimated six percent of coronary heart disease cases, seven percent of type 2 diabetes (the most common form) and 10 percent of breast and colon cancers, it said.
Reducing inactivity by 10 percent could eliminate more than half a million deaths every year, the report said, adding that the estimates were conservative.
The human body needs exercise to help the bones, muscles, heart and other organs function optimally, but populations are walking, running and cycling less and less as they spend more time in cars and in front of computers, the investigators said.

The Lancet series called for global efforts to promote physical exercise by improving pedestrian and cyclist safety on city roads, for example, more physical education at school or promoting access to free public exercise spaces.
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4.  Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, study says
July 18, 2012, CNN, By Matt Sloane
Pasted from: <http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/18/health/physical-inactivity-deaths/index.html>
Researchers say physical inactivity has become a global pandemic.

 Story Highlights
•  
Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, series of studies in Lancet say
• Researchers suggest public health officials treat inactivity as a pandemic
• Inactivity often rises with age and is higher in women as well as in high-income countries
• Studies: Exercise events and better public transportation help improve physical activity

(CNN) — Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, according to a series of studies released in British medical journal The Lancet, putting it on par with the dangers of smoking and obesity. The results also suggest that public health officials treat this situation as a pandemic.
Specifically, Harvard researchers say, inactivity caused an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths in 2008 worldwide.
If physical inactivity rates were to go down by even 10% to 20% worldwide, they say, it could save between a half-million and 1.3 million lives each year. This could also raise global life expectancy by almost a year.

“This summer, we will admire the breathtaking feats of athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games,” wrote Dr. I-Min Lee, a Harvard researcher and the lead author of an article accompanying the series of studies. “Although only the smallest fraction of the population will attain these heights, the overwhelming majority of us are able to be physically active at very modest levels, which bring substantial health benefits.”
This series of five studies was specifically timed to be released just days before the start of the 2012 Olympics in London next week, and each of the studies focused on one specific issue related to physical inactivity and its effect on global health.

Adults and children at increased risk
The first in the group of five studies suggested that one-third of adults, and close to 80% of adolescents worldwide, are at increased risk of disease as a result of physical inactivity.
According to the report, some 1.5 billion adults worldwide face a 20% to 30% increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Researchers also found that inactivity levels varied widely across the globe, with the lowest levels in Bangladesh (5%) and the highest levels in Malta (71%).
“In most countries, inactivity rises with age and is higher in women than in men [34% vs 28%],” wrote Dr. Pedro C. Hallal, a professor at the Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil. “Inactivity is also increased in high-income countries.”

Why are some people more active?
The second study looked at why certain people and groups of people exercise while others do not.
The study authors found that previous research focused on individual-level factors such as age, sex and socioeconomic status, and they were conducted primarily in high-income countries. But they suggest future research focus on middle and lower-income countries.

“Research has been heavily concentrated in a few developed countries, most of which have stable or falling rates of noncommunicable diseases, rather than in low-income countries where understanding of evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity is poor,” wrote Adrian Bauman, a researcher from the University of Sydney in Australia. “Targeting factors known to cause inactivity is key to improving and designing effective interventions to increase activity levels.”
Bauman and his colleagues found that health status, being male, young or wealthy tend to make people more physically active, as does family and societal support for physical activity.

What works to promote physical activity
The third article in The Lancet series looked at what specific programs and types of programs work to promote physical activity.
“Because even moderate physical activity such as walking and cycling can have substantial health benefits, understanding strategies that can increase these behaviors in different regions and cultures has become a public health priority,” wrote Gregory Heath, a researcher from the University of Tennessee and the lead author of this study.

Heath and his team found that the use of mass-media campaigns to promote exercise, as well as signs to remind people to be active — taking the stairs, for example — had some effect on getting people more active.
The team also found that free, public exercise events, creating an environment that was conducive to exercise (bike lanes and walking trails), and improving public transportation were more likely to improve physical activity.

“Overall, our findings showed the interventions to have consistent and significant effects on physical activity and behaviors,” Heath wrote. “Even though in some instances the effect sizes of these interventions were rather modest, they were large enough to translate into real population-level benefits if rolled out on a larger scale.”

Using mobile phones to get people active
The fourth study found that technology, and specifically cell phone technology, could be significant in helping people get fit.
“With the high prevalence of both physical inactivity and the rapid growth of the mobile phone sector in low-income and middle-income countries, there is a potential for population-level effects that could truly affect global health,” wrote Dr. Michael Pratt, a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers believe that with more than 4 billion text messaging users worldwide, this could be an effective way to deliver health-conscious messages, particularly in low-income countries.
According to this report, Pratt and his team estimated that using Internet-based technologies could be twice as effective in middle-income countries as in high-income countries, given that 71% of the world’s population lives in these countries and many have access to cell phones.
“This is a big challenge, but marked progress in countries such as Colombia and Brazil suggests that it is also an achievable challenge,” he wrote.

Obesity should be considered a pandemic
The final report suggests that physical inactivity should be recognized as a global pandemic and should be treated like any other infectious-disease pandemic would be.
“The role of physical inactivity continues to be undervalued despite robust evidence of its protective effects,” wrote Harold Kohl, a researcher at the University of Texas School of Public Health and lead author of this study. “The response … has been incomplete, unfocused and most certainly understaffed. … The effect of this tardiness has been to put physical activity in reverse gear compared with population trends and advances in tobacco and alcohol control and diet.”

Kohl called on countries — low, middle and high-income — to work across disciplines to fix this problem.
“Physical inactivity is an issue that crosses many sectors and will require collaboration, coordination and communication with multiple partners,” he wrote, citing specifically city and community planners, transportation engineers, schools, parks and recreation officials and the media.

He says that almost 75% of World Health Organization member countries have some sort of plan to improve physical activity, but only 55% of the plans have been put into effect and only 42% of the plans in effect are well-funded.
“Substantial improvements in the infrastructure of planning and policy, leadership and advocacy, workforce training and surveillance must be realized,” he said.
.

5.  Two out of Three Very Obese Kids Already Have Heart Disease Risk Factors: High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Glucose Evident Even in Under-12s
23 July 2012, ScienceDaily,
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120723193205.htm

Two out of three severely obese kids already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, suggests research published online in “Archives of Disease in Childhood”.
The prevalence and severity of childhood obesity has been rising worldwide, but little research has been carried out on the underlying health problems that children with severe weight problems have, say the authors.
They base their findings on data supplied by pediatricians to the Dutch Paediatric Surveillance Unit between 2005 and 2007.

During this period, doctors treating all new cases of severe obesity in children from the ages of 2 to 18 across The Netherlands were asked to supply information on their patients’ cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, fasting blood glucose levels, and blood fats (lipids).
The definition of severe obesity started at a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 for a 2 year old, at 31 for a 12 year old, and at 35 for an 18 year old.
Over the three years, most (87% to 94%) of pediatricians submitted their monthly findings on every severely obese child they treated to the surveillance unit, providing information on 500 children in all.

When pediatricians were contacted again, with a request for further data, 363 responded and 307 of their children were correctly classified as severely obese.
Just over half (52%) of these 307 children were boys. They tended to be more severely obese at the younger end of the age spectrum; the reverse was true of girls. Full information on cardiovascular risk factors was available for 255 (83%).
Two out of three (67%) had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Over half (56%) had high blood pressure; a similar proportion (54%) had high levels of low density ‘bad’ cholesterol; one in seven (14%) had high fasting blood glucose; and just under 1 per cent already had type 2 diabetes.

And “remarkably” say the authors, almost two thirds (62%) of those aged 12 and under had one or more cardiovascular risk factors. Only one child’s obesity was attributable to medical rather than lifestyle factors.
Nearly one in three severely obese children came from one parent families.
“The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in [these children] is worrying, considering the increasing prevalence worldwide of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents,” write the authors.
“Likewise, the high prevalence of hypertension and abnormal lipids may lead to cardiovascular disease in young adulthood,” they add.
And they conclude: “Internationally accepted criteria for defining severe obesity and guidelines for early detection and treatment of severe obesity and [underlying ill health] are urgently needed.”
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
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6.  We’re getting sicker: More Americans have a chronic health condition
Vitals on NBCNEWS.com
http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/31/13053268-were-getting-sicker-more-americans-have-a-chronic-health-condition?lite

MyHealthNewsDaily
More than one in five middle-aged U.S. adults, and nearly half of adults over age 65, have more than one chronic health condition, such as hypertension and diabetes, according to a new government report.
The report said that in 2010, 21.3 percent of women and 20.1 percent of men between ages 45 and 64 had at least two chronic health conditions. In 2000, the rate among men was 15.2 percent, and among women it was 16.9 percent.
Increases were also seen in adults older than 65, with 49 percent of men and 42.5 percent of women reporting in 2010 that they had at least two chronic health conditions. In 2000, the rates were 39.2 percent of men and 35.8 percent of women.

Treatment for people with multiple chronic conditions is complex, the researchers said. By looking at trends in the rates of people with more than one condition, researchers are better able to make decisions about managing and preventing these diseases, and they can make better predictions about future health-care needs, they said.
The increases were due mainly to rises in three conditions: hypertension, diabetes and cancer, according to the report. These increases may be due to more new cases, or due to people living longer with the conditions because of advances in medical treatments.

The report also said that middle-aged adults with at least two chronic conditions had increasing difficulty, between 2000 and 2010, in getting the care and prescription drugs they needed because of cost. In 2010, 23 percent reported not receiving or delaying the medical care they needed, and 22 percent said they didn’t get the prescriptions they needed. In 2000, these rates were 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

The CDC does not consider obesity itself to be a health condition; rather, it is a risk factor for other conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The obesity rate in the U.S. increased in the United States over the past 30 years, but has leveled off in recent years, the report said.
The report is based on data gathered during the National Health Interview Survey, in which participants complete a detailed questionnaire about their health status and health-related behaviors. Participants reported whether a physician has diagnosed them with any of nine chronic health conditions: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, current asthma and kidney disease.

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Upper & lower respiratory tract infections

(Survival manual/5. Medical/b. Disease/ Upper & lower respiratory tract infections)

Upper respiratory tract infections (URI ) are the illnesses caused by an acute infection which involving: nose, sinuses, pharynx or larynx. The infections commonly include: tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis media (middle ear infection), and the common cold.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_respiratory_tract_infection

The lower respiratory tract is the part of the respiratory tract below the vocal cords. While often
used as a synonym for pneumonia, it also includes acute bronchitis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_respiratory_tract_infection

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A.  Upper respiratory tract infection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_respiratory_tract_infection

Upper respiratory tract definitions
•  Rhinitis – Inflammation of the nasal mucosa
•  Rhinosinusitis or sinusitis – Inflammation of the nares and paranasal sinuses, including frontal, ethmoid, maxillary, and sphenoid
•  Nasopharyngitis (rhinopharyngitis or the common cold) – Inflammation of the nares, pharynx,hypopharynx, uvula, and tonsils
•  Pharyngitis – Inflammation of the pharynx, hypopharynx, uvula, and tonsils
•  Epiglottitis (supraglottitis) – Inflammation of the superior portion of the larynx and supraglottic area
•  Laryngitis – Inflammation of the larynx
•  Laryngotracheitis – Inflammation of the larynx, trachea, and subglottic area
•  Tracheitis – Inflammation of the trachea and subglottic area

Signs and symptoms
Acute upper respiratory tract infections include rhinitis, pharyngitis/tonsillitis and laryngitis often referred to as a common cold, and their complications: sinusitis, ear infection and sometimes
bronchitis (though bronchi are generally classified as part of the lower respiratory tract.) Symptoms of URI’s commonly include cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, low grade fever, facial pressure and sneezing. Onset of the symptoms usually begins 1–3 days after the exposure to a
microbial pathogen. The illness usually lasts 7–10 days.

Group A beta hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis/tonsillitis(strep throat) typically presents with a sudden onset of sore throat, pain with swallowing and fever. Strep throat does not usually cause runny nose, voice changes or cough.

Pain and pressure of the ear caused by a middle ear infection (Otitis media) and the reddening of the eye caused by viral Conjunctivitis are often associated with upper respiratory infections.

Symptom comparison: seasonal allergies, URI & influenza
Symptoms Allergy Upper Respiratory Infections Influenza
Itchy, watery eyes Common Rare (conjunctivitis may occur with adenovirus) Soreness behind eyes, sometimes conjunctivitis
Nasal discharge Common Common Common
Nasal congestion Common Common Sometimes
Sneezing Very common Very common Sometimes
Sore throat Sometimes (postnasal drip) Very common Sometimes
Cough Sometimes Common (mild to moderate, hacking) Common (dry cough, can be severe)
Headache Uncommon Rare Common
Fever Never Rare in adults, possible in children Very common (100-102°F (or higher in young children), lasting 3–4 days; may have chills)
Malaise Sometimes Sometimes Very common
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Sometimes Very common, can last for weeks, extreme exhaustion early in course
Muscle pain Never Slight Very common, often severe

Cause
Over 200 different viruses have been isolated in patients with URIs. The most common virus is called the rhinovirus. Other viruses include the coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, enterovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus.

Up to 15% of acute pharyngitis cases may be caused by bacteria, commonly Group A streptococcus in Streptococcal pharyngitis (“Strep Throat”).

Influenza (the flu) is a more severe systemic illness which typically involves the upper respiratory tract. Influenza is a relatively uncommon cause of influenza-like illness.

 Treatment
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. There are currently no medications or herbal remedies which have been conclusively demonstrated to shorten the duration of illness.Treatment comprises symptomatic support usually via analgesics for headache, sore throat and muscle aches:

•  Aspirin – (Bayer, St. Joseph, Anacin, Bufferin) Aspirin has a blood thinning effect that lasts
longer than that of other analgesics.
•  Acetaminophen – (Tylenol) Acetaminophen is generally easier on the stomach than analgesics with aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen and is the preferred analgesic if you have gastrointestinal problems
•  Ibuprofen – (Advil, Motrin) Ibuprofen also has a blood thinning effect, but much less so than aspirin.
•  Naproxen Sodium – (Aleve) Naproxen also has a blood thinning effect, but much less so than aspirin.

There is no evidence to support the age-old advice to rest when you are sick with an upper respiratory illness. Moderate exercise in sedentary subjects with a URI has been shown to have no effect on the overall severity and duration of the illness. Based on these findings, it was concluded that previously sedentary people who have acquired a URI and who have initiated an exercise program may continue to exercise. Getting plenty of sleep; however, is advisable since even mild sleep deprivation has been shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to infection. Increasing fluid intake, or “drinking plenty of fluids” during a cold is not supported by medical evidence, according to a literature
review published in the British Medical Journal.

 Antibiotics
Judicious use of antibiotics can decrease unnecessary adverse effects of antibiotics as well as out-of-pocket costs to the patient.
But more importantly, decreased antibiotic usage will prevent the rise of drug resistant bacteria, which is now a growing problem in the world. Health authorities have been strongly encouraging physicians to decrease the prescribing of antibiotics to treat common upper respiratory tract infections because antibiotic usage does not significantly reduce recovery time for these viral illnesses. Some have advocated a delayed antibiotic approach to treating URIs which seeks to reduce the consumption of antibiotics while attempting to maintain patient satisfaction. Most studies show no difference in improvement of symptoms between those treated with antibiotics right away and those with
delayed prescriptions. Most studies also show no difference in patient satisfaction, patient complications, symptoms between delayed and no antibiotics. A strategy of “no antibiotics” results in even less antibiotic use than a strategy of “delayed antibiotics”. However, in certain higher risk patients with underlying lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), evidence does exist to support the treatment of bronchitis with antibiotics to shorten the course of the illness
and decrease treatment failure.

Decongestants
According to a Cochrane review single oral dose of nasal decongestant in the common cold is modestly effective for the short-term relief of congestion in adults; however, “there is insufficient data on the use
of decongestants in children.” Therefore decongestants are not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age with the common cold. Oral decongestants are, also, contraindicated in patients with hypertension, coronary artery disease, and history of bleeding strokes.

 Alternative medicine
The use of Vitamin C in the inhibition and treatment of upper respiratory infections has been suggested since the initial isolation of vitamin C in the 1930s. Some evidence exists to indicate that it could be justified in persons exposed to brief periods of severe physical exercise and/or cold environments. The benefits versus risk of nasal irrigation are currently unclear and therefore is not recommended.
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B.  Lower respiratory tract infection
<The”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_respiratory_tract_infection&gt;

The lower respiratory tract is the part of the respiratory tract below the vocal cords. While often used as a synonym for pneumonia, another infection includes acute bronchitis.
Symptoms include  shortness of breath, weakness, high fever, coughing and fatigue.
Lower respiratory tract infections place a considerable strain on the health budget and are generally more serious than upper respiratory infections. Since 1993 there has been a slight reduction in the total number of deaths from lower respiratory tract infection. However in 2002 they were still the leading cause of deaths among all infectious diseases, and they accounted for 3.9 million deaths worldwide and 6.9% of all deaths that year.
There are a number of acute and chronic infections that can affect the lower respiratory tract. The two most common infections are bronchitis and pneumonia.
Influenza affects both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Antibiotics are often thought to be the first line treatment in lower respiratory tract infections; however, these are not indicated in viral infections. It is important to use appropriate antibiotic selection based on the infecting organism and to ensure this therapy changes with the evolving nature of these infections and the emerging resistance to conventional therapies. H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis are of increasing importance in both community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB) while the importance of S. pneumoniae is declining. It has also become apparent the importance of atypical pathogens such as C. pneumoniae, M. pneumoniae and L. pneumophila, in CAP.

Causes
•  Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and can follow acute or chronic bouts of bronchitis. It is also possible to get pneumonia by accidentally inhaling a liquid or chemical.
Transmission of pneumonia from person-to-person through direct contact with infectious secretions can occur, however most infections are not caught from another person but are a product of a weakened immune system. Hospital patients are at an especially high risk of pneumonia.

A bacterium is the most common cause of pneumonia in adults and children over the age of three.
Bacterial pneumonias tend to be the most serious and among the elderly can be brought on after influenza or the common cold.

•  Bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs, is generally caused by viral respiratory infections. The main cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoke, or long-term exposure to secondhand smoke. The affliction usually clears up on its own, but it can lead to
pneumonia in some severe cases.

Symptoms
Pneumonia has similar symptoms to a cold or the flu at its onset, with a cough and fever. The main signs and symptoms are often shaking, chills, a high fever, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing greenish or yellow phlegm.
Additional symptoms can include headache, excessive sweating, loss of appetite, excessive fatigue and confusion, especially in the elderly.

Classification
1)  Bronchitis – Bronchitis can be classified as either acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis can be defined as acute bacterial or viral infection of the larger airways in healthy patients with no history of recurrent disease. It affects over 40 adults per 1000 each year and consists of transient inflammation of the major bronchi and trachea. Most often it is caused by viral infection and hence antibiotic therapy is not indicated in immunocompetent individuals. There are no effective therapies for viral bronchitis. Treatment of acute bronchitis with antibiotics is common, but controversial as their use has only moderate benefit weighted against potential side effects (nausea and vomiting), increased resistance, and cost of treatment in a self-limiting condition. Beta2 agonists are sometimes used to relieve the cough associated with acute bronchitis. In a recent systematic review it was found there was no evidence to support their use.[6]
Chronic Bronchitis are frequently due to non-infective causes along with viral ones. 50% of
patients are colonised with Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae or Moraxella
catarrhalis. Antibiotics have only been shown to be effective if all three of the following symptoms are present:- increased dyspnoea, increased sputum volume and purulence. In these cases 500 mg of Amoxycillin orally, every 8 hours for 5 days or 100 mg doxycycline orally for 5 days should be used.

2)  Pneumonia
Pneumonia occurs in a variety of situations and treatment must vary according to the situation.  It is classified as either community or hospital acquired depending on where the patient contracted the infection. It is life-threatening in the elderly or those who are immune-compromised. The most common treatment is antibiotics and these vary in their adverse effects and their effectiveness. Pneumonia is also the leading cause of death in children less than five years of age.
The most common cause of pneumonia is pneumococcal bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae accounts for 2/3 of bacteremic pneumonias. A dangerous type of lung infection with a mortality rate of around 25%. For optimal management of a pneumonia patient the following must be assessed;- pneumonia severity (including where to treat e.g. Home, hospital or intensive care), identification of causative organism, analgesia of chest pain, the need for supplemental oxygen, physiotherapy, Hydration, bronchodilators and possible complications of emphysema or lung abscess.

For community acquired respiratory infections the appropriate use of fluoroquinolones is a
therapeutic option. These have been demonstrated to have targeted in vitro activity against both the typical and atypical pathogens of interest. The newer fluoroquinolones (e.g., moxifloxacin or gatifloxacin) have extended gram +ve activity and once daily dosing and hence are potential first line in the treatment of lower respiratory tract infections. However it is clinical response that is the best indicators of efficacy and moxifloxacin or gatifloxacin have been proven to be effective against community acquired respiratory tract infections clinically.

Medication Choices
Although experts differ on their recommendations, the first antibiotic used is usually one that kills a wide range of bacteria (broad-spectrum antibiotic). All antibiotics used have a high cure rate for pneumonia.6

If you do not have to go to the hospital, your doctor may use any of the following antibiotics:
•  Macrolides, such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, and erythromycin.
•  Tetracyclines, such as doxycycline.
•  Fluoroquinolones, such as gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin.

If you have to go to the hospital, your doctor may use any of the above antibiotics. Other antibiotics that your doctor may use in this situation include:
•  Cephalosporins, such as ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and cefepime.
•  Penicillins, such as amoxicillin and ampicillin.
•  Vancomycin.

Non-Pharmacological Treatments
In 2003 a very high quality, published research was done about the risk of hospitalization due to respiratory illness and type of infant feeding in developed countries. It involved 3,201 breastfed
babies and 1,324 non –breastfed babies. It showed an overall 72 % reduction in the risk of hospitalization in infants who exclusively breastfed for 4 or more months compared to those who were formula-fed. Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding for 4 or more months is associated with a reduction in
the risk of hospitalization secondary to lower respiratory tract diseases.

The mainstay of non pharmacological treatment for many years has been rest and increased fluid intake. Doctors and other health professionals  recommend extra fluid intake. Although the idea of replacing fluids lost through fever and rapid breathing was sound, some observational studies reported harmful effects such as dilution of blood sodium concentration leading to headache, confusion or possibly seizures. Rest will allow the body to conserve energy to fight off the infection.

Complementary Therapies
Chickweed taken orally has been used for many years to reduce fever and phlegm associated with bronchitis. It is believed to act as an expectorant and although the pharmacological actions of several
constituents suggest it may be useful, controlled studies are not available to confirm its effectiveness.

Thyme is approved in the treatment of bronchitis and there are encouraging data for its use in
chronic bronchitis when used in combination with other herbs, however there is no stand-alone data.

The use of Vitamin C is commonly thought to act to prevent colds and other respiratory infections.
However according to a recent Cochrane review the evidence is too weak to support its widespread use as a prophylactic in preventing pneumonia in the general population. It may be reasonable to use in high risk patients with low plasma levels of vitamin C due to its low-cost and risk associated with is use.[25] Vitamin C used as an orthomolecular antibiotic, is most effective when used in the same way; i.e., on timetable dosages.

Vitamin A has been successfully used to reduce the mortality and severity of respiratory infection
with measles. However in a review of non-measles pneumonia it was not found to have any benefit or harmful effects.

Used by native healers for millennia, garlic contains allicin, a powerful anti-fungal and antibiotic compound. Native American tribes have used garlic to treat coughs and croup. British herbalists use garlic for hoarseness and coughs. Louis Pasteur studied garlic’s antibacterial properties. During both World Wars, Allium sativum was used as an antiseptic.

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